As happens often — probably more often than is strictly healthy — I’ve found myself fantasising about what I might do if I was suddenly offensively, disturbingly and disgustingly rich. This fantasy varies; sometimes I think I’d end up living in Italy, perhaps owning a small espresso bar; other times I imagine I might end up back in Oxford, where I would spend my days lounging in the QI Bar discussing, I don’t know, Anthony Eden’s handling of the Suez crisis, or whatever’s happening in the world these days.
Currently though, I’ve found myself with a bit of a yen for study; I want to go back to university. Not Canterbury university, of course — four years there was about four years too many — but instead I’d like to go to Kings College, London, to study film. This is not because I particularly want a career in film, just as my first degree in history wasn’t taken because I wanted to be a historian; I just like the subject.
There’s a few aspects of this course that appeal to me: History of Contemporary Cinema (1975–present), Hollywood Cinema, Asian Popular Cinema, Stardom and Performance, Film Noir and American Independent Cinema would all be modules I’d like to taste, and I’d love the opportunity to be able to write about film in a poncy student fashion — you know, boringly pretentious, amateurish and overly in-depth — without worrying about alienating anybody.
It’s not just about the study, though; I miss all that free time I had as a student, I miss being around people who all have a common interest, I miss being able to find new friends by just joining a union society (how do you find new friends as an adult? I guess you’re supposed to join a book club.) I find myself wanting to attend lectures and seminars about film; I find myself drawn to the BFI and the Barbican, and most of all, I find myself not in any mood to discuss web standards, because there’s only so many times I can have the same goddamn discussion about how great they are.
That’s perhaps part of the problem — I’m feeling fairly jaded about the industry I’m in, and with nothing much happening to refresh my interest the idea of taking three years off is an appealing one, but it won’t happen. I’m still paying off debts incurred from my last time as a student, and as I refuse to live in student digs again — I do have some standards — I’d need to be self-sufficient, hence the need for a lottery win or similar.
For now then, I’ll have to limit myself to spending my weekends watching DVDs and reading books by Peter Biskind, and my fantasy about becoming a wise and worldly mature student will have to be shelved along with all the others — unless anybody has any bright ideas?